Twins Closing In On Deal With Pavano

JANUARY 14TH: The team is still trying to sign Pavano and hopes to have an answer over the next week, GM Bill Smith told Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune (via Twitter).

JANUARY 6TH: The Twins are nearing an agreement on a two-year deal with free-agent pitcher Carl Pavano, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The sides are making "solid progress" and should have the deal completed soon, tweets LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune.

The Nationals were rumored to have interest in Pavano, but Washington didn't make a strong push for the righty, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. He was interested in pitching for the Rockies, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post, but Colorado's interest tapered off after it re-signed Jorge De La Rosa.

Pavano, who will turn 35 on Saturday, pitched for the Twins in 2010 after they acquired him from the Indians in a midseason trade in 2009. Pavano rejuvenated his career last season (and, to a lesser extent, in '09) after an injury-riddled stint with the Yankees from 2005-08. In 2010, he posted a 3.75 ERA with a 4.8 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 221 innings. He signed a one-year deal with Minnesota prior to last season.

The Twins have been hit relatively hard by free agency so far this offseason, losing Orlando Hudson, Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain, but the potential return of Pavano would keep their strong starting rotation intact.